PHOENIX ― After a one-year hiatus, the world’s premiere bull riding organization, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), will return to Arizona with the Top 35 bull riders and the world’s best bucking bulls this weekend, March 8-9, at US Airways Center for the Bass Pro Chute Out, part of the elite Built Ford Tough Series. It is the eighth year that the PBR has stopped in the Valley of the Sun with the “toughest sport on dirt.”
Each night fans will experience more than two hours of non-stop action filled with exhilarating 8-second rides, heart-stopping wrecks and jaw-dropping performances as the PBR’s gutsiest cowboys risk it all against their 2,000-pound opponents.
Riders will face one bull each in Rounds 1 and 2 on Saturday and Sunday. After Round 2 on Sunday, the riders’ individual two-round scores will be totaled and the Top 15 will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round for one more ride and a chance at the $30,000 event title.
The competition will begin at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 8, and at 2:50 p.m. on Sunday, March 9. Tickets start at $15 and are available at the US Airways Center box office, www.Ticketmaster.com, and by telephone at (800) 745-3000. For more information visit www.pbr.com. Fans are encouraged to utilize the METRO Light Rail; round-trip travel is included with all tickets purchased for events at the US Airways Center.
In previous years, fans watched two-time PBR World Champions Chris Shivers and Justin McBride capture wins in Phoenix. McBride is the PBR career money leader with $5.5 million, the most of any Western-sports athlete in history, while Shivers ranks fourth in career earnings with $4 million.
Former Phoenix PBR event winners are:
Chris Shivers (2006)
Ross Coleman (2005)
Justin McBride (2004)
Cory Melton (2002)
Jim Sharp (2001)
Norman Curry (2000)
Gilbert Carillo (1999)
Reigning World Champion J.B. Mauney is expected to compete in Phoenix alongside defending Glendale event champion and two-time PBR World Champion Silvano Alves. Renato Nunes, (2010), Guilherme Marchi (2008) and Mike Lee (2004) are other former World Champions listed on the 2014 roster.
Marchi currently sits in the No. 1 position in the race for the 2014 PBR World Championship and is about to achieve another career milestone which no other bull rider in PBR history has ever achieved. Marchi has made 499 qualified 8-second rides on the BFTS in his career and will likely reach his 500th ride at the US Airways Center this weekend. He has gone 19-for-32 so far this season.
Phoenix is the 10th of 27 stops on the 2014 PBR Built Ford Tough Series schedule and one of only 18 cities to host the series before the PBR takes its summer break in May. It’s the only stop the elite BFTS will make in Arizona in 2014.
The season will conclude at the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas on Oct. 22-26. The 2014 PBR World Champion, the bull rider who earns the most points during the 2014 season, will receive the coveted World Championship belt buckle and a $1 million bonus while in Vegas. For more information, please visit www.pbr.com.
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